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Kitchen
Küche

Artist/maker unknown, American, Pennsylvania German

Geography:
Made in Millbach Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

Date:
c. 1752

Medium:
Oak, chestnut, poplar, pine, iron, granite (wood shows evidence of blue, white and oak grain paint)

Dimensions:
10 feet 4 inches x 28 feet 10 inches x 20 feet 6 inches (315 x 878.8 x 624.8 cm) Mantel Shelf: 1 feet 8 inches x 12 feet 6 1/2 inches x 6 inches (50.8 x 382.3 x 15.2 cm) Door Under Stair: 72 x 31 x 1 1/4 inches (182.9 x 78.7 x 3.2 cm) 8-Panel 2 part door at far end of room: 74 x 41 x 1 7/16 inches (188 x 104.1 x 3.7 cm) Door to PR of fireplace: 76 1/2 x 38 x 1 1/4 inches (194.3 x 96.5 x 3.2 cm) Cabinet: 44 1/2 x 32 x 13 1/2 inches (113 x 81.3 x 34.3 cm) Lock on Door (PR of fireplace): 4 1/2 x 12 x 3 3/4 inches (11.4 x 30.5 x 9.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 285, American Art, second floor

Accession Number:
1926-74-1

Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont and Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont, 1926

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Label:

The architecture, decoration, and furnishings of this room illustrate the transplantation of Germanic traditions in colonial America.

During the second quarter of the eighteenth century, large populations of German speaking immigrants from throughout northern and central Europe established agricultural communities in Pennsylvania. They brought with them a variety of domestic forms, designs, skills, and customs. Craftsmen imbued these traditions with new energy and influences, modifying them in each succeeding generation.

The interior woodwork of this Pennsylvania German kitchen was originally part of a two-story rubblestone house that was completed in 1752 for Georg Müller, a prosperous mill owner in Millbach, a small community in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. This traditional interior retains many features from Germanic house types. The massive molded beam construction, square newel post and stair balusters , and raised carved panels and shaped wrought-iron hinges on the doors all have precedents in late seventeenth-century and early eighteenth-century Germanic design.

Fitted with a large cooking hearth and furnished with work tables, rooms like this served as a center for a wide range of daily household activities.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    The two-story stone house that originally contained this kitchen was the home of Georg Müller, a prosperous mill owner of Millbach, a small community in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. Müller was one of the large number of German immigrants who had arrived in Pennsylvania during the second quarter of the eighteenth century and built their houses with rooms such as this kitchen based on European models. The carved panels of the door with its shaped wrought iron hinges (along with the ten-foot-wide mantel carved from a solid piece of oak and the square newel post and balusters of the stair) have their design origins in the German-speaking areas of late seventeenth-century northern Europe. The room's furnishings of paneled chairs, glazed earthenware on sturdy tables, and wrought iron kitchen wares are typical of the Pennsylvania Germans' meticulous workmanship and attention to decorative detail, and express the love of beauty in everyday objects that these early immigrants brought from Europe. Martha C. Halpern, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 258.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.

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